Scooter riders, speak out!

And why should he not get a scooter? I don’t understand most of you guys. Anyone who has ever ridden a scooter in Taipei knows that for speed and convenience in Taipei’s traffic, it is the only way to move. People say the traffic is crazy. I guess compared to Palookerville USA or Loamshire, England, it probably is but we’re not in Kansas now, Dorothy. You know almost a priori that anyone who likes to badmouth scooters has never used one here, probably they didn’t have the nerve. And yet these gutless cowards are always slagging off those of us who actually know how to live well in this city. Come on, fellow scooter riders, let’s tell these whining cowards what they really are.

I think getting around town on a scooter is great! They fun to ride around and easier to find a parking spot with. However seeing so many scooter-truck accidents (and even people dead at such accidents) makes me a bit nervous. It seems cars that turn right from a small street onto major streets sometimes don’t first look and see if there’s something coming down the lane they’re turning onto. And small winding roads with big trucks aren’t real fun either.

Seems like the problem is that scooters don’t have their own lane. They’re slower than cars and typically take up half of the rt lane so all the cars try to pass around them. I guess requiring helmets has helped the scooter accident deathtoll

Yup i agree, scooters/bikes rock. At first i was like “no way im riding here” then finally when i got the balls to try it, its good. Ive seen some bad accidents myself and it worries me, but shit happens. I do have some trouble parking my scooter but thats mainly coz where i work and live is in a busy place, but most days no problem parking. Would never go back to buses/mrt after this, scooter all the way.

I’m not exactly sure what the problem is with people not wanting to ride scooters. Is it fear? Or is it a macho thing? Most of the foreigners I see have “real” motorcycles, not scooters. Personally, I have a little 50cc yamaha. It’s fun to ride, fast enough for city traffic and small enough to manouever and park. Now the only pet peeve I have with scooters are those huge scooters that look like small touring motorcycles, complete with small scooter wheels. Get real! Go all the way and get a real motorcycle then 'cause you look like a dweeb. A big little man on a little big bike.
Just to share how clueless I was the first time I rode a scooter myself, being used to driving a car back home, the first time I sat down and fired the thing up I wondered “How the hell do you put it in reverse”? No, I’m not THAT stupid, it was just a reflexive thought.

Having a scooter in Taiwan is like having a convertible in the US–hit the road man with your hair flying and you’re FREE as the wind…
I probably would’ve never found some of the interesting spots I did without one.

Or is it a macho thing? Most of the foreigners I see have “real” motorcycles, not scooters.

Not a macho thing me thinks but the fear of driving because at first it seems to be suicide, expecially to those who are new to the place or value their life.

Unfortunately, and that’s a fact, Asians have the worst driving habbits and law enforcement is pretty lax if not blind; people just make up their own rules and usually get away with it though I do hope some learn their lesson when they get involved in an accident (not that I wish anybody something bad but if it happens think about the cause or who is at fault).

Yes, there are bad drivers in Westen countries, too, but here it’s extreme and looking at the standards of (traffic) education and how to obtain a driving license I am not surprised. That mixed with the attitude by most people behind the wheel (agressive if not violent) makes a dangerous mix.

Well, that said I will most likely get myself a Scooter or slightly bigger bike later.

After all: no risk, no fun.

Do most foreigners ride motorcycles as opposed to scooters? I always wondered about that. It seems to me that most just ride scooters, but the ones on the motorcycles just attract more attention.

Now bicycles, not counting the little old ladies, seem to be purely ridden by foreigners, especially the ones decked out with all the bicycle gear.

As for the wind in the hair bit, I always wear a helmet. Always. Not only does it protect my head, but I’m also less likely to cause an accident by causing everyone on the street to stop in pure amazement at the sight of my flowing golden locks.

That said, however, I do know of foreigners who come here and get on a motorcycle without knowing how to drive in this traffic. One of them tried to buy my old motorcycle, a Honda Wangpai, but when I found out he’d never ridden here before I refused to sell it to him. He got really pissed off about it, too.

Apparently he found someone else to sell him a bike, because a couple of weeks later he was dead. Found him in the middle of the road next to his ride.

I have also noticed that many foreigners drive really fast. Perhaps that is just youth, though. I used to drive like that when I was younger…still do on occasion, but only when traffic is light.

quote[quote] Do most foreigners ride motorcycles as opposed to scooters? I always wondered about that. It seems to me that most just ride scooters, but the ones on the motorcycles just attract more attention. [/quote]

i think definitely lots more foreigners drive motorcycles than scooters for a few reasons.
1 They think scooters are too ‘girly’ or something.
2 they’ve ridden motorcycles in their home countires
3 2nd hand motorcycles are often cheaper
4 they don;t realise the benefits of scooters

quote[quote] I have also noticed that many foreigners drive really fast [/quote]

i think that unlike Taiwanese they jsut haven’t had any nasty crashes … YET. Once they crash a couple of times (and it’s inevitable) they’ll drive slower.

Bri

quote:
Originally posted by Bu Lai En: i think definitely lots more foreigners drive motorcycles than scooters for a few reasons.
Here in Taichung it seems somehow balanced - I see about as many foreigners on bikes as I see on scooters.
quote[quote]1 They think scooters are too 'girly' or something.
[/quote] That might be a reason for some people. In German, we have two not so serious insults: "Warmduscher" (mollycoddle, actually meaning someone taking warm water showers) and "Automatikfahrer" (someone driving vehicles with automatic gear), both meaning someone too soft... For me, my bike is the only matter of personal transportation, I can't afford to buy a car that I will use only on Saturdays or on Thursday evenings for shopping because most places I go there is no space to park it. I need this vehicle to get to work, to go shopping and to go slightly longer distances (100-200km), so this vehicle had to be a compromise. Yes, a scooter may be convenient for shopping and if you only want to fly through the city, but I accept that inconvenience (though my Zing has side bags) for the advantage on longer rides. And I think especially for foreigners the long distance ride is one of the criteria that lets them decide for a bike rather than a scooter.
quote[quote]3 2nd hand motorcycles are often cheaper
[/quote] I'm afraid that is not true any more, simply because the selection from scooters is much larger than from bikes.

quote[quote]4 they don;t realise the benefits of scooters
[/quote]
I can only speak for myself: I do, but there were other criteria too.

VESPA RIDERS UNITE!
Scooter, motorcycles – eat my exhaust! I had my first Vespa here for about 13 years. It still ran but I finally retired her for a new, reconditioned one.
I like the style, the solidness of the body, the hand-shifting and the floorboards that protect you from the rain (and don’t expose your legs/knees as the first thing to hit should you have to lay her down).
They are easy to fix and I don’t know any other two wheeled vehicle here were people will pull up to you and say, “Cool!”

quote:
but I accept that inconvenience (though my Zing has side bags) for the advantage on longer rides. And I think especially for foreigners the long distance ride is one of the criteria that lets them decide for a bike rather than a scooter.

Why do you think a motorcycle is better than a scooter for long rides?

I go on a lot of long rides and think a decent scooter is much better.
-It’s more comfortable
-Much more comfortable for a passenger
-You can store rain gear
-You can take a few extra things with you without needing a bag

Bri

quote:
Originally posted by Bu Lai En: Why do you think a motorcycle is better than a scooter for long rides?

I go on a lot of long rides and think a decent scooter is much better.
-It’s more comfortable



Well, I wouldn’t bet on that one. While the Zing is not a dream bike, its quite comfortable. Compared with the FZ (especially MkI), you are right.
quote:

-Much more comfortable for a passenger


Same as above.
quote:

-You can store rain gear


As mentioned before, my Zing has side bags. My FZ before had a tank bag but also some space under the seat.
quote:

-You can take a few extra things with you without needing a bag


Right. But on my Zing I or the pillion rider can get those things without having to stop and get off the bike. And while we are at the topic: On longer rides, one might want to take a few more things with him. I can load some luggage on my Zing and still have a somehow pleasant ride. The same on a scooter…
I’ve seen quite a few people on Provincial Road No.1 riding scooters over longer distances, but I wouldn’t want to. One reason may be that I can’t really get used to “sit in a chair” at 80-100km/h, but one important reason are those caves (I think they are called potholes if they are young) on the road, especially on bike lanes. Of course, one can reduce the impact by driving slower, but how slow do you want to go then and when do you want to arrive? Then I better take Zun Long and watch a boring movie…

Point taken. I have no idea what a Zing is, but I guess some motorcycles are more comfortable tham the few I’ve ridden. Scooters vary a lot too, and largish ones are really good for long distance rides, but I still hear people saying so often that you can’t ride a scooter a long way.

Bri

Hey i ride one of those “little big bikes” and im a “little big man” on it. Why did i buy a BIG scooter instead of a REAL MOTORBIKE? Well firstly, a “real bike” is in my eyes extremely impractical around the city. I also think yes its more comfortable. So why did i choose a BIG SCOOTER instead of a little 50/90/125 “normal” scooter? Coz i wanted to. I liked it, big enough for me, ive felt sometimes uncomfortable on smaller scooters. I think buy whatever scooter you want. I see a lot of westerners with REAL BIKES good for them its wat they want. I also see some on 50cc bikes, great also. No need to bag others

Majesty, Dink or Apex?

Bri

I was until recently - when my niece borrowed it and stuffed it - the owner of a Majesty.
Whilst as people have said it is not so easy to handle around town, in my eyes the extra comfort more than made up for that. We have on several ocassions ridden over to Ilan on it without any problem, something i do not believe would have been the case for me riding a “normal” scooter.

The biggest problem i have with a normal scooter is that if both of us are on it then my knees are virtually touching the handlebars. This makes it unsafe as i have lost the real ability to turn etc within city areas.

The Majesty may be nice to sit on, but together with a friend we compared his Majesty to my FZ (MkI) once, standing side by side. His Majesty was even longer (No, not what you think…) and in spite of its size had no space around the legs to store things - a feature even provided by 50ccm zwieback saws and probably the main reason why scooters are so popular for shopping.

Btw, have you seen Poagaos article about scooters? There is a paragraph about the Majesty…:wink:

Bri: There are three bikes on the local market trying to simulate a Harley and all looking very similar: Zing (Kymco), Husky (SYM) and DragFire (Yamaha). Zing and Husky are out of production, not sure about the DragFire. Just sit down on one of them and maybe even have a short ride. While you might not be “convinced”, you will at least better understand why some people choose those bikes.

This thread has gone off the road. There is another thread somewhere or other about which Dink is better than what Zink.
The point is that some people think that scooters are a problem in Taipei and they should be eliminated.
“DON’T GET A SCOOTER!” started this all off and I for one have to disagree. Get a scooter. It is, after all, the people’s choice of vehicle by like 7 or 8 to one over cars.
If the government felt strongly about getting rid of the two-wheeler, why does it not start with a sound policy to phase them out? Instead, they reduce the parking areas and float nonsense ideas about pushing vehicles to find these vanishing parking spots.
Do the people formulating policy in this city have any real-life notion how scootering works in this city and why it is popular?

Scooters - polluters

Scooters didn’t pollute the Keelung and Tamsui rivers…